Post-rockers Glacier unleash biblical vengeance and conjure the darkness on their new LP.
The current political state has changed everything, including how we engage with art. Every album, movie, song, and painting now carries the question: was this influenced by the creeping horror of the now?
Enter Glacier, a five-piece instrumental band that plays an unrelenting brand of post-rock. As an instrumental outfit, Glacier’s compositions remain open to interpretation by design. Their new album, Though Your Sins Be As Scarlet, They Shall Be White as Snow; Though They Be Red Like Crimson, They Shall Be As Wool, provides listeners with a looking glass. Written in 2015 and recorded in 2016, the creation of the album was created before our current political climate, but it’s hard to listen to the music and not think about the state of the world.
The title of the album refers to a verse in the Old Testament in which God offers sinners a chance to repent and have their transgressions forgiven. But when removed from the surrounding passage, the quotation takes on a different meaning.
It’s an offer of repudiation, not salvation.
Instead of atonement, it indicates that sins will be overlooked, that the wicked won’t have to pay for their misdeeds. It isn’t hard to squint and see this parable playing out daily. Biblical themes throughout the record (including samples of proselytizing) inspire more dread than they do hope.
Glacier split the 28-minute album into two tracks, cleaving the title in half. This gives each track room to tell a full story. The opening track, “Though Your Sins Be As Scarlet, They Shall Be White As Snow,” is a salvo that highlights Glacier’s ability to create a sense of foreboding.
The guitars are deliberate. Each note resonates with a sinister quality and each strum is a step closer to a darkened basement. The drums are loud and clear, sounding like a final judgment. There is no ambiguity to the cymbal crashes. The bass lines do not chug along; the notes hit you in the chest with despair.
The second half of the album, “Though They Be Red Like Crimson, They Shall Be As Wool,” ups the stakes from a slow creep to an all-out horror show. Every member of the band unleashes their full potential for a furious, unrelenting avalanche of sound.
This track is a perfect example of Glacier’s ability to layer their compositions, creating distinct musical chapters that flow into one another. The band has a knack for storytelling and uses this ability to create lush songs with distinctive beats and threads. While listening to the album, it’s hard to believe there are only two songs. Each track passes through multiple arcs that could easily make up a few more songs. But taken as a whole they reveal a completely realized work designed to elicit an array of emotions.
Though Your Sins Be As Scarlet, They Shall Be White as Snow; Though They Be Red Like Crimson, They Shall Be As Wool is dark music for dark times. While their instrumental nature makes their sound timeless, it has never been more relevant.